How Flavor Tripping Works

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You've got an invitation to the trendiest party in New York City. Everyone around you is tripping. You pay the guy at the door and pop what he gives you in your mouth. Soon, you're experiencing things in a way you never have before. Everything feels, looks, sounds, even tastes different. Everyone around you is going wild, telling you to try more and more things. You didn't think tripping could be like this. The next day, when your friends ask what you did last night, you simply say, "Oh, I ate some lemons and cheese, and then I drank some vinegar.

No drugs were involved in the scenario above, even though the partygoers' perceptions were altered. The only change was their sense of taste, as they were engaged in a phenomenon known as flavor tripping. Flavor tripping occurs when you consume a berry known as miracle fruit. The berry coats your tongue in such a way that foods taste differently. Specifically, sour foods taste sweet. A lemon suddenly tastes like lemonade. Cheese tastes like frosting, and vinegar tastes like apple juice.

The effect is so unusual that people throw parties and invite guests to eat the berry and follow that up with an array of foods to taste the difference. Since the New York Times reported on the phenomenon in May 2008, orders for miracle fruit have surged, as everyone wants in on the tongue tripping action. But how does this berry actually work? Where does it come from? And is it ever really a good idea to buy berries off the Internet? Turn the page to find out what causes this miracle in your mouth.